Maggie and Joseph

*Disclaimer: this is a short story I wrote as a writing exercise at like 2 a.m.  There are bound to be grammatical errors, etc.  Don’t be so judgy.*

Maggie carefully wedged her journal back into its hiding place, between her mattress and box spring. Joseph would be home any moment. She glanced into the small compact mirror she always kept within reach; her make-up was spot on, her hair perfectly coiffed. She placed the mirror back on the nightstand and sat in bed listening for the front door, the signal that Joseph was home. Nothing but crickets and the hum of the fan. She picked up the magazine she’d purchased that day while waiting in the drug store checkout line and tried to read it. It was useless. She was too nervous, too on edge, she tossed the magazine to the side and smoothed out the wrinkles in the bed covers.

A moment later, just when she was about to give up and start pacing the floor, she heard the familiar sound of the front door opening and closing, followed by heavy work boots stamping across the living room floor to the kitchen. Cabinet doors opened and closed, the refrigerator door opened, something was poured, then it closed again. Finally, the heavy work boots stamped out of the kitchen and down the hall. They stopped just short of the bedroom door. Maggie’s heart nearly leapt out of her rib cage. Her eyes riveted to the door knob, she sat holding her breath.

The knob turned slowly, the door crept open and Joseph, seeing Maggie staring at him, stopped in the doorway, beer in hand.

“Maggie,” he started in surprise, “I didn’t think you’d be up, darlin’.” Maggie had always loved Joseph’s quiet southern drawl.

“Surprised?” she managed, somewhat breathlessly.

“Well, yah,” relaxing a bit, he started walking into the room again, “it’s awful late, darlin’. I told ya I’d be home late tonight. Didn’t need to wait up.”

Maggie reached for something she’d wedged between the mattress and box spring.

“How else could I have given you this, dear?” she asked, her heart exploding in her chest as she raised the .22 caliber revolver into the air and aimed it at Joseph’s heart.

Paralyzed, his beer glass hit the floor, the foamy brown liquid splashing over his boots and soaking into the carpet. Maggie gripped the gun in both hands, steadying her aim and steeling her nerves. She gently squeezed the trigger before Joseph had time to get out, “Now, Maggie, darlin’.” Then he was dead, his blood mixing with the beer in the carpet.

It took Maggie a few moments to realize the gun had actually gone off and Joseph was actually dead. Once she did, she dropped the gun onto the shag carpeting in disgust. She shook all over for a moment but eventually managed to calm herself, breathing in deeply, meditatively.

She picked up her little mirror and checked her hair and make-up again. Perfection. She breathed a sigh of relief and put the mirror away.

Dear Journal, she wrote a moment later. Well, I did it. I finally killed that cheating bastard…

The End.

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